Coupling Pipes: How To Overcome Size Differences

Some people who think they are excellent DIYers are sadly mistaken. Take plumbing, for example. Unless you absolutely know what you are doing, you should not do your own plumbing. Too many times you have pipes that do not work with the sinks and other fixtures in your home. As a result, you end up with lots of leaks, and plumbing repairs that require a complete re-do of the plumbing. One major issue is overcoming pipe size differences when you are coupling pipes together. Here is how that works.

Call the Plumber

First and foremost, call a plumber. Only the plumber can verify that this type of job is done correctly. He or she knows whether or not you can gradually slim down or widen a pipeline using a series of couplers and pipes.

Watch as the Plumber Works

The plumber may find this unnerving, but if you explain that you want to know how to do this plumbing job right, he or she may be inclined to let you watch. The first thing the plumber will do is examine the pipes you want to slim down or enlarge, both above ground and below the floor. Then he/she turns off the water supply at the main water valve for your home. Now the pipes can be safely removed without creating a wet mess.

Measuring the Pipes Involved

Now the plumber will measure the smallest diameter of pipe and the largest diameter of pipe involved. This tells the plumber what kind of mistakes the last homeowner made. Usually, one pipe is too small or too large in diameter for the coupler to accommodate the expanse between the walls of the two pipes.

For example, attempting to couple a 3/8" pipe to a 1 1/2" pipe and forcing it to work by using plumber's bonding cement is a recipe for disaster. It leaves more than an inch of space around the smaller pipe as it heads into the larger pipe where water can flow backwards around the end of the smaller pipe. IF the job was done correctly, the sizing between the two pipes would be really minimal, such as 3/8" and 1/2", or 1 1/2" and 1 1/4' pipes. Not only is this easier to couple, but it leaves far less space for water to flow backward around the end of the smaller pipe.

Replacing Pipes to Gradually Decrease or Increase Size

Depending how and where these pipes connect, the plumber will replace the incorrectly sized pipes with the correct sizes. A sink drain of only 1 1/4" will have a lead pipe going down to a trap that may be a quarter inch larger, and then a quarter to half inch larger pipe on the opposite end of the trap. These slight increases will continue until the pipe is large enough to connect to the main sewer pipe.

For more information, contact companies like AAA Home Services.